Kitchen Sink Clogged? Safely Unclog It Without Harmful Chemicals

Posted on: 13 October 2016

If your kitchen sink drain clogs up, you might pour bleach and ammonia down the drain to unclog it. Although these DIY steps may work to some degree, they may not solve your sink's problem completely. In most cases, the chemicals may make the problem worse or create dangerous situations for you and your loved ones. Here's why you shouldn't use bleach and ammonia and what you can do instead.

Why Shouldn't You Use Bleach and Ammonia?

Even if you manage to unblock your sink drain with bleach and ammonia, the harmful odors released by the chemicals may harm you, your family, and even your pets and plants. If anyone in your family has medical issues, the odors can be particularly dangerous for them.

When used alone and properly, bleach may not cause problems for your health. However, ammonia can be very hazardous when used alone or with another volatile chemical. If you mix the two chemicals together, they can cause respiratory distress, headaches, and eye irritation. 

The solutions create a chemical reaction that releases fumes and toxins into the environment. If your kitchen doesn't have the proper ventilation system in place, such as wide windows or a ventilation fan, the odors can overcome you. 

Instead of using bleach and ammonia for your clogged drain, try white vinegar instead.

What Can You Use Instead?

Sources recommend pouring vinegar down your sink drains every three months to help prevent clogs. You can also use white vinegar to break up your sink's current clog. Vinegar is an acidic product that eats bacteria and dissolves contaminants that block drainage pipes. The odors given off by vinegar tend to be less harsh to your home's environment, which makes it a better alternative to bleach and ammonia. 

To use vinegar as a drain cleaner, follow the steps below:

  1. Remove all items from the sink, including utensils and pieces of old food.
  2. Turn on your hot water tap to help loosen up the debris in the drain. Allow the water to run for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off the tap.
  3. Pour 3 cups of vinegar into the drain, then wait at least 20 to 25 minutes for the vinegar to break up the clog. You can wait longer if you need to do so.
  4. Use a plunger to work loose the softened debris, then turn on your hot water tap and allow it to flush out the drain. 

Your drain should now be clear of blockages. 

If the steps above don't work to clear out the clog, contact a professional plumber for additional help. Or click here to continue reading.